Government provides ฿2.8bn to private and public agencies to develop COVID-19 vaccines
The Thai government has provided about 2.8 billion baht in funding to nine state and private agencies for their research, development and production of anti-viral vaccines, with the aim of turning Thailand into the regional hub of vaccine production.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said today (Saturday) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attached importance to supporting the capability of Thailand, in the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines, by setting aside an initial fund of 1.8 billion baht last December.
He said that the government has now set aside an additional 995 million baht for the National Vaccine Institute, to be distributed to three agencies, to make preparations for technology transfer in the production of COVID-19.
The first 1.8 billion baht was divided as follows:
- 650 million baht for the Bionet-Asia Company for the research and development of the DNA type of COVID-19 vaccine.
- 200 million baht for the National Science and Technology Development Agency for the development of prototype COVID-19 vaccines and clinical trials.
- 562 million baht for the King Mongkut Institute of Technology (Thonburi campus) to prepare a production facility for COVID-19 vaccines and to develop a specialized lab for analysis and tests of biological medicines and vaccines.
- 160 million baht for the Baiya Phytopharm Company for laboratory tests of locally-produced plant-based COVID-19 vaccines.
- 156.8 million baht for the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to prepare for the mass bottling of vaccines.
Additionally, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization-Merieuk Biological Products Company is to increase their vaccine production capacity to an industrial level, to handle domestic production of vaccines.
The second amount of 995 million baht is split between:
- 596 million baht for Siam Bioscience for the production of the AstraZeneca vaccine
- 33.79 million baht for the National Primate Research Centre of Chulalongkorn University
- 365 million baht for the Vaccine Research Centre at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University
Anucha said that the funding for Siam Bioscience will be returned to the government in the form of vaccines, equivalent to the amount of funding it receives from the taxpayer.